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Lawrence Day vs Bruce Harper
"Hard Day's Knight" (game of the day May-27-2009)
CAN-ch / Zonal (1975), Calgary CAN, rd 5, Aug-??
Pirc Defense: Classical. Schlechter Variation (B08)  ·  1-0


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find similar games 3 more L Day/B Harper games
sac: 33.Nf5+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: 28 moves-no captures! Then pieces go flying off the board in many directions. White breaks through and wins.
Jun-09-05  peters4n6: Is 38. Q x a8 that bad? It looks like a exchange of a queen for two rooks. Granted, the "main line" wins outright.
Jun-14-05  PaulLovric: this is a beauty as well, shame to have been on holidays and missed the last four or five gotd s
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <IMlDay> Thanks for the time pressure explanation for 33. Nf5+!? Black defended well for a few moves (i.e. 34...Bc8!) and appears (as your analysis suggests) to have missed gaining a clear advantage and possibly a win by not playing 36...Bb7! Instead, 36...Rg8?? allowed your winning double attack 37. Qd5+!

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: While 36...Bb7! is Black's best defense, it does not appear to give a lasting advantage.

After 36... Bb7! 37. Nxf6 Qxf6 38. Bxg5 hxg5 39. Rh7+ Kf8 40. Kg1 Re7 41. Rh5 e4 42. Rfh2 Ke8 43. fxe4 Qa1+ 44. Kf2 Qe5 45. Rh7 Kd7 46. Rxe7+ Qxe7 47. e5 Qxe5 48. Rh7+ Kc8 49. Qe3 Nd7 50. Qxe5 dxe5 51. Bb3 Kc7 52. c5 bxc5 53. b6+ Kxb6 =, it appears White has fully equalized.

May-27-09  YoungEd: If this were a "guess the move" game, I would have scored just about a zero! This game deserves some study!
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Very creative version of the Benoni Jump (Nf5), because White doesn't immediately recapture on that square. I agree that 36...Bb7! is an excellent defensive resource, but as Speilmann wrote in his book, over the board such sacrifices are bound to win though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eisenheim: Black loses with his unneeded sac back on 37 - a simple king retreat wouldve done the trick
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: "Hard Days Knight" .What a briliant pun!
May-27-09  randomsac: NIce pun. Great game. It started out slow, but it rapidly turned bloody as soon as white broke through.
May-27-09  WhiteRook48: 33 Nf5+!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <hanging flags> The main thing to remember about hanging flags is that they were hard to judge precisely. Once you were into your final minute, it became impossible to tell how much time was left: it might have been 45 seconds, or 2 seconds, or the thing might fall anyway while you were wondering which. Digital clocks have done away with that uncertainty, which is not entirely a good thing.

I know that those who think of anything under 10 minutes as 'extreme time pressure' will fail to see the distinction, but lovers of zeitnot will know what I mean. Especially, but not only, one's opponent's zeitnot.

May-27-09  Hugh the Drover: A good pun here would be Game of the Day.
May-27-09  m0nkee1: 14 Nh2 is a nice move. I've used this a few times.. Not sure what white gains from 0-0, with this attack in mind 0-0-0 might have been better? I can't see why not here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The pieces really fly in this one! That is,after the ball begins to roll on move 29.

In the end,black's entire position is en prise.

May-27-09  tatarch: Without going through all the variations, 33...f4 looks kind of interesting for black. I just played around with that for a few minutes and it still seems to lose, but in much better style.
May-27-09  Shams: <tatarch: Without going through all the variations, 33...f4 looks kind of interesting for black.>

33...f4 is impossible and I certainly hope you don't mean 34...f4, in which case there is only one one-move variation worth looking at.

May-27-09  tatarch: <Shams: 33...f4 is impossible and I certainly hope you don't mean 34...f4, in which case there is only one one-move variation worth looking at.>

I did mean 34...f4, to which one-move variation do you refer? If you mean forking the king and queen and immediately taking the queen, I think that offers black some decent counterplay-- black will then be trading a queen and pawn(s) for 3 minor pieces, but with what I see as some tactical chances. I still believe this loses with good play by white, but not instantly. I'm also not sure that taking the queen right away is the best move by white after the fork.

I could of course be missing the obvious one-move variation you mean though-- or there could be a forced mate I am overlooking. What did you have in mind?

May-27-09  Albertan: IM Day how come you did not take the pawn by playing 26.hxg6 fxg6 27.Rxh6...which would have opened up the h-file?
May-27-09  Albertan: Deep Rybka 3 found the following interesting variation. It gave a bad evaluation of Bruce Harper's 27th move of 27...c6? After this move IM Day could have played 28.f4! with these continuations possible:

28. f4 exf4 29. Nxf4 cxd5 30. hxg6 fxg6 31. Nxg6 Qe6 (31... Kxg6 32. e5+ Kf7 33. Bxg5 d4+ 34. Be4 Qxe5 35. Bxb7 Qxg5 36. Bxa8 Rxa8 37. Qxd4) 32. Nf5+ Kf7 (32... Kxg6 33.Rxh6+ Kf7 34. Bxg5 Rg8 35. Bxf6 Rxg4+ 36. Kf1 Nxf6 37. Rxf6+ Qxf6 38. Nh6+ ))

May-27-09  Albertan: Another interesting idea Deep Rybka 3 found was on move 29.

29. f4!? Nh7 30.g5 Nxg5

(If 30... hxg5 31. hxg6 fxg6 32. f5 Qf7 33. fxg6 Qxg6 34. Nf5+ Kh8 35. Nxd6 Reb8 36. Nxb7 Bg7 (36... Rxb7? 37.dxc6 Rc7 38. cxd7 ) 37. Rf5 Rxb7 38. Rxg5 Qf6))

31.fxg5 Bxg5 32.Rhf1 Rf8 33.Bxg5 hxg5 34.Rf5! f6 (If 34...gxf5?? then 35.Nxf5 )

May-27-09  Albertan: Patzer2 another variation involving 36...Bb7 which Deep Rybka 3 suggested is this one:

36... Bb7 37. Nxf6 Qxf6 38. Rxh6!? Qxh6 39. Bxg5 Qh7 40. Bh6 e4 41. Qxd6 exf3+ 42. Kg3 Re1 43. Rxf3 Bxf3 44. Kxf3 Rc8 45. Kf2 Re4 )

Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: The game was plenty dramatic but has lots of objectively inferior moves. Taking the pawn (with 26.hxg6 fxg6 27.Rxh6) is of course recommended by the computer, but Bruce had thought a long time over allowing it and was already down to a few minutes to reach move 40. If I take the pawn it frees his cramp and makes the position easy to play. Plus there will still be a lot of play to convert the extra pawn which is backward on a half-open file as well as protecting the ♔. White is better anyway so declining it was a practical choice.

At that time a lot of players were influenced by Walter Browne's success despite regularly using his last minute for ten moves. In my game with Macskasy in this event I reached the "hanging flag" final minute with 20 (!) moves still to play. He had over an hour and two extra pawns (well, KGA extra pawns, but still..:) somehow I won. That was 1975; by 1978 I was cured of my dithering, avoided anything worse than a move a minute, and played a good hundred points stronger.

Note 25..g5? is worse than 25..Ng5!?. With so many pieces in each others way, and having to deal with a ♘ planted on f5, there is no defensive arrangement to prevent White's decisive queenside breaks.

May-28-09  Albertan: Hi IM Day thank you for your answer to my question.
Jun-16-12  vinidivici: what did rybka say about 33.Nf5+ ?
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